Branding

Sir Hotels. A chain of hotels in Northern Europe, catering to a high end crowd.

Brief. Sir needed an entire brand: from a mission to a name to brand awareness in OOH to a website.

Approach. A five star name for a five star brand: "Sir." Each hotel in the chain was given a different "surname" based on its premium location (location makes or breaks a hotel). For example, "Sir Albert" became the name of the chain's flagship hotel near Amsterdam's Albertcuyp Market. I was responsible for the concept, name, mission statement, and all copy.

For most of a decade, I was the main writer for a hotel chain called citizenM, responsible for everything from web copy to social media profiles to developing its sub-brand of flexible workspaces to doormats (yes, doormats). More brand development: three years on Mercedes, eight years on the self-styled "world's worst hotel," my own soap mini-brand (sold in three countries), and what felt like an eternity on various international booze brands (including a stint as lead creative for the world's most iconic whiskey). Examples of projects I quite enjoyed follow.

Grand Marnier. The iconic French liqueur.

Brief. This classic had a problem: it was a little too classic. It wanted to attract a younger, international audience while not alienating its existing, older target.

Approach. The French are known for their charm (and also their rudeness, but we decided to ignore that particular stereotype). As a typically French product, Grand Marnier was positioned to crusade for charm in an increasingly charmless world. This was done through online films, OOH, POS, a website revamp, and a dynamic advertising campaign in which Grand Marnier produced ads reacting to the news in real time (in this case, "dynamic" doesn't mean "AI," it means that I wrote an ad every day live for a couple of months).

Future Crunch. An organisation educating a skeptical public on the benefits of science and tech.

Brief. Although I did end up working with Future Crunch, this project was self-initiated. My brief to myself was: the Future Crunch newsletter is fantastic...and also very, very wordy. Why not expand the FC audience by picking a couple of its most pertinent stories and give them a more accessible presentation?

Approach. I picked a story that comes close to being evergreen: how do we know which information sources to trust? I edited the existing copy, rewrote parts, illustrated the story in 3D, created icons and an updated logo, and arranged the whole thing in a responsive webpage using Webflow. See the results by clicking on the thumbnail.

Salt of the Earth. A deo that prides itself on being made as sustainably as possible.

Brief. The original webpage was, um, less than ideal. I wanted to redesign it using sound UI principles (e.g. a "Z" shaped design, clear menus, and plenty of contrast).

Approach. From advertising college and experience with other sustainable products, I knew that preaching can be an issue for green brands. So I decided to focus on the deo's beauty credentials: you can smell sexy and do the planet a favour.

I created friendly, deliberately naive illustrations, wrote new headlines and body copy, designed UI icons, and made a new logo (based on a circle for the planet and a box, because salt crystals under a microscope are square). I also redesigned the deo bottles and rendered them in 3D. Finally, I placed the lot in a responsive layout. Click on the thumbnail to see more.